Up-conversion nanoparticles convert infrared light into ultraviolet and visible light

Researchers from the department of bioengineering at the national university of Singapore’s college of engineering have developed a new technology that converts infrared light into ultraviolet and visible light through nanoparticles, paving the way for non-invasive treatments of deep tumors, physicists organization net reported recently. The technology, which is said to inhibit tumor growth and control gene expression, is the world’s first non-invasive photodynamic therapy that USES nanoparticles to treat deep tumors. The paper is published in the journal nature medicine.
Zhang yong, an associate professor at the national university of Singapore, who led the research, said genes in the body release certain proteins to ensure health. But sometimes the process goes awry, leading to diseases including cancer. Non-invasive light therapy has been shown to correct this process by controlling gene expression. But the use of ultraviolet light has some side effects, sometimes even more than the cost; However, the visible light penetration is weak, unable to illuminate the tumor deep in the tissue. To do this, he and his team have developed a nanoparticle coated with a layer of mesoporous silica, which lies between the macroscopic and microscopic scales. They found that the nanoparticles could convert near-infrared light into visible or ultraviolet light when introduced into the patient’s focus area. This method can effectively activate genes and control the expression of proteins, thus achieving the goal of treating cancerous cells.
Researchers say near-infrared light is safer and more penetrating than ultraviolet and visible light, reaching deeper into tumor tissue without harming healthy cells, and they are planning to expand it into other light-based therapies. The technology has a wide range of applications, including phototherapy, biological imaging and clinical diagnosis, with the use of these nanoparticles to obtain clearer and more accurate images of cancer cells. The project has received funding from the A*STAR research institute in Singapore and the national research foundation in Singapore, and the team will use the technology to develop kits for rapid diagnosis. (source: science and technology daily wang xiaolong)